Poll shows 50% support chip and PIN move in UAE

A total of 48.6% backed the plan and just 10.4% supported biometric tests instead.

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By  Joanna Hartley Published  February 10, 2009

Almost half of all responders to a poll have said they think the new chip and PIN idea that is to be rolled out across the UAE is a great idea that will have a major impact on fraud.

Last week's announcement by the UAE Central Bank that all banks in the country will be required to move to chip and PIN technology called widespread debate, with some experts citing the move as useless against the type of fraud residents suffered last summer at the hands of international gangs.   

However, Arabian Business’s online survey showed that 48.6 percent strongly welcomed the move, with just 10.4 percent thinking it would be a better to invest in more advanced biometric tests, such as eye scans, to stop fraud.

A quarter of responders (26.3 percent) said the plan was a good idea but would have limited impact on fraud and 14.7 percent said the plan would be ineffective and only incur costs for banks and retailers.

The bank's decision to introduce chip and PIN follows a review of the UAESWITCH cash machine network and comes amid a growing problem with credit card fraud in the country.

The bank said that after the excercise it decided to amend some of its protocols and introduce new ones following the recommendation of consultants brought in to oversee it.

It added that it will adopt global payment card industry standards for the network.

Chip and PIN is the name of an initiative backed by the UK government aimed at combating credit/debit card fraud.

Under the Chip and PIN system credit/debit cards containing an embedded microchip are authenticated automatically using a PIN.

So, when a customer wishes to pay for goods using this system, the card is placed into a PIN pad terminal or a modified swipe-card reader, which accesses the chip on the card.

Once the card has been verified as authentic, the customer enters a 4-digit PIN, which is checked against the PIN stored on the card. If the two match, the transaction will be completed.

The UAE Central Bank has given no further details of how or when the plan will be rolled out.   

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